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Activity title

Social Media and Information Technology for Disaster and Crisis Response

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Human Factors and Medicine

Security Classification



Awaiting Publication

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Crisis, Crisis Response, Cybersecurity, Disaster, Emergencies, Hazards, Health, Information Operations, Information Sharing, Social Media


Human crises, emergencies and disasters take place today in a complex ecology of real-world events, electronic communications, and rich information streams that have rapidly transformed military and civil affairs worldwide. A new (and rapidly changing)“information ecology” has emerged, consisting of complex networks of people, computers, mobile communication devices, software extensions - both automated and semi-automated, satellite imagery, sensor signals, complex data streams, fusions and platforms. This information ecology generates new capabilities in information, data, and signal discovery, in situation awareness, and in many kinds of engagements with allies, adversaries and publics. Lone actors and small groups are now capable of organization, planning, and mission execution with remarkable swarming effects that can affect millions; groups of engaged amateurs and professionals can orchestrate complex events with a speed never before contemplated. News and information cycles are now minute-to-minute, offering a wide array of perspectives and opinions with immediate on-the-ground consequences for military and civilian authorities and non-government agencies. It is a dramatically transformed landscape for mission planning, International coordination, and joint operations.


1. To develop integrating technical demonstrations of information technologies in support of collaborative efforts in research on international crisis, emergency and disaster response that span borders or require international cooperation and partnership to mitigate, contain, or respond to ensure human security. 2. To identify existing gaps in processes and communication flows that prevent effective collaborative efforts during international crisis, emergency and disaster response, both within and outside (between?) of borders. Such communication gaps result in a lack of international cooperation and partnership. 3. To develop a network of scholars, scientists and technologists in the rapidly developing and disruptive domain of social computing and human security issues, challenges, and emerging threats to promote research collaborations and coordination to rapidly develop and improve operational capabilities for emergency, disaster, and crisis response. 4. To support information exchange and education on social computing and human security topics across related exploratory committees, task groups and panels working on related issues. 5. To support NATO efforts across panels and relevant efforts such as the MCDC activities on social media.


1. Current practices in international cooperation and information sharing during crisis and disaster situations, such as the role of the Euro-Atlantic Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) and other operation centers, portals and organizations involved in information sharing for disaster management (such as Pacific Disaster Center, OpenStreetMap, Humanity Road, and NATO operations centers); 2. Novel, affordable technologies for information sharing, and disaster and crisis coordination, crisis analytics, models and decision tools; 3. Social trust, cyberthreats, and related aspects of crowd management; 4. Complex analytics (the combination of models, tools, images, and novel information streams, data fusion and visualization); 5. Use case development, including scenario development for technical demonstrations, technology insertion and operationalization; 6. Training and capacity development for multi-national, multi-agency operations.

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